I reviewed the Garmin Vector 2 pedals about two years ago, and they have done perfectly well ever since. I ve been running these same Vector 2 pedals for over a year now. I swapped out the original Garmin bodies for Shimano Ultegra types (there s an adapter kit available), and I ve even cycled with them on several different bikes Get the best Black Friday deals for your convenience.
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Parting with the pod
The Vector 2 system had one weak spot: the transmitter pod. It attached to the pedal and handled transmitting all of the data. It couldn’t last forever, though, and after 10 months I needed a new one because it failed completely.
The Vector 3 has a new design which eliminates the need for an external power pod. All of the electronics are contained within the pedal body itself. The Vector 3 has a new drivetrain, including the pedal body, axle and bearings. Everything has changed from previous versions of the model.
The new body is smoother and end of the spindle has a black cover to hide the LED status light that used to be on the pod. A small LED is embedded in the pedal, and it starts blinking when you push on the pedal. It informs you what to do about the situation without using any text or symbols – anyone can see it, regardless of language knowledge. Inserting these pedals are different from before because there’s no screwdriver needed for installation – instead, they use a 15
The brand new pedal body is again designed around a Look K o cleat and Garmin upgraded the inner bearings to needle rollers from bronze bushings. They feel great come up with and the improvement in construction means the rider weight limit rises to 105kg,even though they’re a bit lighter overall.
Garmin Vector 3 The Vector 3 pedal sports a sleek design, but the battery does not. Thankfully, this battery is so small that you can still swap it out with ease. LR44 batteries are easy to find and inexpensive.
Replacing the batteries can be difficult due to the delicate silicone O-ring. The thread is easy to cross, so pay careful attention during installation. The Vector 3 includes spare O-rings, and I was able to change the battery in the field without issue.
Dual band distinction
Clipped onto your shoes, the Garmin Vector pedals can transmit in ANT+, so you can pair them with any GPS head unit (such as a Garmin 820 or Wahoo Elemnt) to offer all relevant information. Power and cadence are of course included, but there’s more than that available. They ll also offer you a left-right balance, they ll let you know whereabouts on the pedal you re standing, they ll demonstrate where you re putting power down in the pedal stroke, and they ll tell you just how much time you spent seated and standing. Most of the details is on Garmin’s Connect website, though not all of it makes it to third-party platforms such as Strava.
Vector 3 has added Bluetooth Smart connectivity for easy, battery-friendly power measurement.
If you are using your phone to log your rides, and you want the power data too, then use a smartphone mount. The Bluetooth feature is mainly for firmware updates.
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Capacity to the people
In terms of power, we found the two previous versions of the Vector to be around the same price point as this one. We weren’t expecting anything surprising from this data set
Power test 1: PowerTap G3 hub:
Our trustworthy PowerTap G3 hub is a unit we use for a number of power meter comparisons. You can view that apart from some anomalies the energy traces are very close.
Rather than dealing with common wordiness, here let’s simply replace an incomplete sentence with a complete one: There is only a 2W difference between your two average power readings, 217W for the pedals and 215W for the hub. The pickup of the pedals is apparently a little bit quicker.
Power test 2: Kickr V2, smart mode:
Benchmarked against the Kickr V2, often calibrated, the pedals provide a virtually identical output to the trainer. This graph is from an hour s group ride on Zwift, with some sprints and a mini-race towards the end. The Vector 3 features respond similarly to an indoor bike, with power output being slightly lower (roughly 1% less than the Kickr overall). There are barely any discrepancies in readings and graph shapes on sprints.
Power test 3: Kickr V2, Erg mode:
This graph displays a group cycling workout on Zwift. The trainer was set to Erg mode and the resistance adapts accordingly as you pedal. On indoor workouts, this pedal size can cause a cyclist to work harder than they realize.
Garmin Connect: plenty of data for the nerdy
Delta, total time, heart rate cadence and speed graphs for the Garmin Connect.
You can see that the power is a bit choppy because it’s a major group ride.
Connect also gives you a bit more insight into your power data. You can see how much energy you’re putting down in each pedal stroke, where your feet are sitting on the pedals, and what your left/right balance is like. You’ll also be able to tell how much time you spend seated and standing up during any given ride. Garmin is helpful in these regards:
So what may I learn from this? My maximum 20-minute power was 275W and I could release 310W for 20 minutes if I am really choosing it, so that my day felt a bit hard but not too difficult. I leaned a bit more on my left leg (which I usually do) and the power phase was slightly longer to the left side too. My feet are slightly outside of the pedals by 2mm on my left foot and 3mm on my right, but that seems about right for me personally. It is ungainly to move the cleats easily.
Anyway, there are plenty of options when it comes to this. You can glance at your individual graphs and figure out what your form looks like over time as your fatigue increases, or focus on the information you really need. The Vector 3 offers a lot of pre-set training intervals, so you can design on-road workouts to target your specific fitness goal.
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Worth the money?
At 849.99, the cost of these pedals is definitely expensive for most cyclists. But their initial retail price was 1,549 a pair- so it s worth considering how much prices have dropped from the first iteration of the product. Even as Garmin still holds a commanding lead in the GPS market, it has competition that rivals it and actually outpaces it at times.
Powertap’s P1 pedals undercut the Vector 2s at 999 pairof sneakers, nevertheless they look somewhat overpriced now in comparison to those and the Favero Assiomas, which are solely 735 for double-sided pedal measurement.
Garmins are pedals that offer power, but they’re not the cheapest. They have been around for a long time and their portal is quite practical for data mining. And, for me, they are the most attractive because of how they simply look like pedals.
The Vector has really come a long way with this redesign. It’s definitely been a high-quality system with repeatable and accurate power measurement, but just about everything about the newest pedals is an improvement.